May 16, 2007 12:56 AM   Subscribe

Help me be fashoinable. Um, Seriously.

In my teens and early twenties, i always managed to be smartly dressed, hip, um..."hot." Then i moved to Washington, DC. And gained 50 pounds. I lived there for five years. I blame DC more than i will ever blame being heavy, but the combo was really hard on my fashion sense.

I've lost the weight. I'm 5'7" and very happily a size 8. Heck, I can wear anything suddenly!

AND, I've just moved to New York City. Home of the itty bitty hot chicks. Wearing impossibly cute get-ups. Erfh.

So, where do I start? I am not terribly feminine, and the fashions this season are so ..."pretty."

I like them, but after all these years, I feel like dressing fashionably is silly. How do i break this cycle, embrace fashion affordably, keep a tailored look while remaining ergh..."hip."

I am a bit hopelessly lost. I suppose my question is possibly, "Any affordable stores in NYC to try out some different styles?" Or, better yet, "How do i re-discover my own fashion sense?"

Oh, and I did try to search askmefi first. If there is a good thread, please send it my way and forgive me for not finding it...
posted by metasav to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (35 answers total) 47 users marked this as a favorite
I am a dude, and I don't live in New York City, but the first things I notice about someone aren't what they're wearing, but how they carry themselves, both from a self-confidence perspective and a how-they-treat-others perspective. If you're at least neat and cordial, you'll do fine (and you'll be beating everyone who thinks giant sunglasses and a chihuahua sticking out of a Ferragamo purse are essential accessories for a nip down to the shop for some milk).

I realize that might not sound too helpful, but really, maybe just thinking about clothes as an occasionally-necessary barrier between you and someone you're building a relationship with in your new neighborhood will make the newness of it all seem less intimidating.
posted by mdonley at 1:10 AM on May 16, 2007

Use my M.O.: Go to an upscale-ish clothing store, let the girl (or dude) know you're clueless, and ask for help. They'll dress you pronto. Maybe even go and help you pick out glasses frames and shoes at other stores. All my fashion descisions are made by the opposite gender. Works for me when I'm willing to spend. And tip.

Oh yes, you must tip.
posted by sourwookie at 1:16 AM on May 16, 2007

Bull-hooey this "professional help" stuff. First, invest in your basics - try on as many pairs of jeans as you can, whenever, wherever in the price range you can afford. Get to know what looks good on you. Try them on with a pair of high heels, and with a pair of flats. When you find the jeans that look great, get two pairs. Repeat with black pants.

After that, get thee to an H&M wearing said jeans or black pants, and try on everything you possibly can, even if you think it's going to look ass-ugly on you - you'll be surprised by what you can pull off. Then buy whatever looks good.

Congratulations on losing the weight, and have fun!
posted by universal_qlc at 1:23 AM on May 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Wow, phaedon. I even previewed. So, fashIOn suddenly seems so pointless. MUST LEARN TO SPELL. I'll keep that atop my list.

posted by metasav at 1:51 AM on May 16, 2007

I really like the book How to be a budget fashionista, which isn't so much about what exactly to wear right now, but more how to build a solid wardrobe that can work with a lot of different looks. If you're completely clueless it's a great first step to getting organised, and has the bonus of helping you do it cheaply too.
posted by ukdanae at 2:07 AM on May 16, 2007 [3 favorites]

Echoing mdonley, as a lame-ass-guy, I enjoy a woman who projects confidence, no matter the garb.

I understand that a woman needs to look good in front of other women first and men at a close second. Maybe I'm dumb that way.

Men in LA notice. I'm not dumb in that sense. But outside of NY/LA men gravitate towards confidence. I know I do.

The SF scene is decently competitive. I've picked up several women that exude confidence b4 apparel many times...
posted by prodevel at 2:45 AM on May 16, 2007

With all due respect to the estimable opinions displayed upthread, I'm going to try and answer your actual question:

"Any affordable stores in NYC to try out some different styles?"

Depending on your definition of affordable, probably.

Or, better yet, "How do i re-discover my own fashion sense?"

Read up on it, surf fashion sites, or (if you're in a hurry and have $$) talk to an expert.

Everyone has a body shape that will REALLY BAD in the wrong clothes. What feels comfortable to you might make you look frumpy and old. The first clothes that catch your eye in a shop might be the worst ones for you once you put them on.

Just like any other talent, there are people out there who will know what to suggest as soon as they see you. Seek them out... because, short of you uploading full-body photos, no one in this thread can really help.
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:56 AM on May 16, 2007

It's been mentioned in other threads, but The Sartorialist is a fantastic source of ideas, ways to put outfits together, and thoughts and musings on what makes someone fashionable. On the good side, he shoots real people on the street, on the bad side, the majority of the outfits are expensive.
posted by extrabox at 4:09 AM on May 16, 2007

You can round some of your basics out with some semi-affordable used stuff from Beacon's Closet on 11th (between Berry and Wythe in Williamsburg). What I try to do is balance new clothes for the basic stuff with used clothes for variety. With the new clothes you can shop more easily for fit, which is key. But the used clothes help add to your closet without subtracting as much from your bank account.
posted by safetyfork at 4:15 AM on May 16, 2007

You're making a mistake. Don't think 'fashionable', think 'stylish'. Point being, fashion comes and goes, but style is forever... look at the difference between, say, Jackie O and your average movie star these days.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:31 AM on May 16, 2007

chuckdarwin has good advice - the important thing at this point is to look at lots of fashion and regain your eye for it. The Sartorialist is a fantastic resource, as it is mostly about what people in NYC are wearing. Another key aspect is to hit the pavement and just go to lots of stores, whether vintage, budget, high-end, what-have-you. Go in and look. Pay attention to the colors, silhouettes, proportions. At the high-end stores pay attention to what the staff are wearing. Don't think about buying yet. You are trying to rebuild fashion muscles atrophied by disuse at this point. A nice side effect is that you'll build first-hand knowledge of the types of clothes carried at a particular store, and you may make some fashion finds of your own.

Wear good shoes and carry a nice bag, along with neat hair and good skin, and the forays into the high-end stores will be pleasanter.
posted by needled at 4:45 AM on May 16, 2007

A lot of fashion is about colour. You can wear the styles you like - trim and tailored - and look fashionable if you've got something in a modern-looking colour. It could be the whole outfit or it could be an accessory. Dark colours are serious; bright colours are frivolous and feminine.

When I was in Paris a couple of years ago I noticed how nice everyone looked. I inspected people on the street carefully and discovered a formula.

1) Trim physiques. Not only do clothes look better on a clearly vertical line, restraint is elegant in itself.

2) Wear simple, sober clothes. Straight, knee-length skirts. Straight pants. Modest necklines. Nothing baggy, all nicely fitting.

3) Low shoes. They're serious about this. People walking in the streets, sure, but I also checked out a lot of shoe stores in Paris and couldn't find any sex-in-the-city stilettos at all.

4) Shirts fit close to the body. Most common was a sweater or knit top, though drapy silk blouses were also a possibility.

5) Over the shirt, a jacket or overshirt or something. Something tailored, not a baggy sweater.

6) Sober colours. (Dark blue was pretty bright.)

7) Wear a scarf. This could be a knotted silk square, a keffiyeh, a long striped hand-knit affair.


This elegant look has varied interpretations. A jean jacket with a tight black t-shirt and keffiyeh worn over a full black skirt, torn tights and Doc Martens fits the look perfectly; so does a business suit. (A plushy, however, does not.)

You can think about your own formula and interpret it in variations according to fashions of the day. Reading fashion magazines helps educate your eye to what's interesting.
posted by kika at 5:14 AM on May 16, 2007 [36 favorites]


Please tell me about the tipping. How much tip compared to how much you're prepared to spend on clothes? Do you just walk up to someone you like the look of and say Here's $100, Dress me?
posted by kika at 5:43 AM on May 16, 2007

Fashion is temporary, style is eternal. Find your style.
posted by holgate at 5:54 AM on May 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

I disagree w/ Kika about Parisian style, but her rules are good to go by anyway. In addition to the Sartorialist, look around you at the women you think look good. Whenever I see someone with a similar body to mine, I take note of what they look like in their clothes and what they can pull off that I previously thought I couldn't.

With affordable clothes, it just takes looking a lot and often. Some of my most-worn pieces came from cheesy stores on Fordham Rd in the Bronx; frequent visits (but less frequent purchases) at Loehmans, H&M, etc also yield good results. If I set out to "go shopping" with a particular result in mind, I am far less likely to actually find something I love, and far more inclined to buy things because that is what I came to do. Also--start with shoes. Wearing a fabulous pair of shoes can change your whole day, and give you that confidence that's so attractive; then make sure you're wearing that confidence when you go shopping!
posted by chelseagirl at 6:38 AM on May 16, 2007

I've never heard of tipping clothes salespeople, and I've been around the industry since I learned to walk. Don't worry about taking up their time, they're on commission. You don't need to tip someone when you ask them to sell you things.

That said, the first rule of looking good in clothes is fit. The most boring clothes can look great -- or the most stylish clothes awful -- depending on how they fit.

You might enjoy watching (on TV, on bittorrent, whatever) What Not to Wear which happens to be set in NYC, or the British original which isn't.
posted by mendel at 6:38 AM on May 16, 2007

I also recommend checking out The Sartorialist. It isn't about finding what is "fashionable" but finding YOUR style. Check out the pictures he takes, they are pretty diverse, and then from the ones that appeal to you, really narrow down WHY: colors? how they layer things? particular accessories? Sometimes it's just about having a great smile (or haircut) ;)
posted by like_neon at 6:47 AM on May 16, 2007

What mdonley said.

As a dude who worked in the fashion industry in NYC for a number of years, I came away with the cardinal rule of fashion: Its not what you wear, its how you wear it.

That said, I think the two words you are looking for are...


You need to get on as many of the email lists as possible...Daily Candy comes to mind, but there's a lot more - Savvy, Glam (or something like that), basically you need to hunt around a lot. I don't know the women's ones as well, but basically you want the female version of what Thrillist is for guys. Manhattan Users Guide occasionally mentions some as well. Heck, even use your Google a little. The point is to get on the email lists, know when the sales are, and get there early. You end up paying around half (sometimes even less) what you would pay in the retail stores.
posted by allkindsoftime at 6:52 AM on May 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Regarding your second question: This might sound silly, but I'd recommend that you watch What Not to Wear on TLC. The show helps people put together good wardrobes using mostly classic/timeless pieces (a good fiited suit, pants, etc) with some trendy accessories or pieces thrown in to modernize it.

I've been watching the show for a few years now, albeit sporadically, and find myself using Stacey and Clinton's voices in my head when I try clothes on. I only buy pieces that work with my body shape and colors that go with my skin tone. I wear more of what I buy than I used to :)

As for the first question: All the participants on the show go to NYC to get their clothes, so you should be able to figure out what stores they're going to.
posted by at 6:58 AM on May 16, 2007

Another vote for watching What Not To Wear! They offer real world, solid advice for wardrobe basics. WNTW is shot in New York and will name the stores they go to. After you've got a good feel for "the rules", THEN you can start branching out into your own style.

I wouldn't recommend starting with The Sartorialist, though. The clothes featured on there are usually expensive and push the envelope. In other words, not for beginners!

My favourite chain stores for a mix of inexpensive clothes (both trenday and basic) are H&M, Zara, and the Gap.
posted by exquisite_deluxe at 7:32 AM on May 16, 2007

So much of trying to develop a "fashion sense" is to look at everything you can to see what is out there, what is "in" and what is "out" and why, what appeals to you and what doesn't. Read some "how to dress" books, page through fashion sites and magazines, look online at the offerings from different stores. You have to have exposure to what's out there and what the general advice is first; then you can start weeding through what appeals to you and what doesn't; only by trying a bunch of things on can you see what works on your body and what doesn't.

Hit up your friends that dress well in a style you like for advice and invite them out shopping with you. Go through your closet and get rid of everything you're hanging on to that doesn't fit right, doesn't look right, no matter how cute it is or expensive it was. Think about the basic pieces you'll need, get those as well-fitted and flattering as you can, and then pick up the trendy things you like that work with the basics that are right for you.

The books I've found most useful so far are Dress Your Best by the What Not To Wear USA people, and the different What Not To Wear UK books (there's at least five of them). (The books are friendlier and more approachable than the shows; I'll watch the shows but I don't like the nasty edge to them. I was really impressed with how pleasant and useful the What Not To Wear USA book was.) The Pocket Stylist was pretty good too.

I also found a website in the past couple days called myShape that asks for your measurements and then analyzes what shape type you are (they have seven), and they recommend clothes for you to buy from them that flatter that particular type. (The one thing I didn't like is that they ask for all your info to sign up for analyzing, but I just gave them fake info, so that's fine.) I found it a useful tool to see some more ideas of what would look good on me that's current.
posted by Melinika at 7:36 AM on May 16, 2007 [3 favorites]

I HIGHLY agree with your "no more khakis" mantra. This is something I would like to tell the world =)

Anyway, for one-stop wardrobe-rebuilding spend a day on 5th Avenue between 23rd and 14th streets. I would recommend picking up basics...the NEW basics, i.e. darrrk blue tapered/skinny jeans, flats [shoes and boots], a pencil skirt, shirtdresses and wrapdresses, blouses [NOT tshirts] that are a little longer - tunic length (they look great over those skinny jeans), from one of these reputable chain stores [nothing wrong with chain stores IMO as long as you mix and match and especially if you have a really special purse or some accessories that are individual to you - whether they are in style or not, as long as you love them!):

Kenneth Cole
Lucky Brand Jeans
Banana Republic
Club Monaco

For trendier pieces, splashes of color, and great accessories check out the following:
Anthropologie (on the girly side, yes, but they have so many great things you are bound to find something you like. not super cheap but worth a splurge imo...)
Arden B

There are also some boutiques and other stores (also on 5th Ave b/w 14 and 23) whose names I can't remember that have truly unique clothing that you definitely pay for, but there are always sale racks, OR you can remember the item you like and look for a knockoff at somewhere like H&M or Necessary Clothing on Broadway (among a slew of other supercheap'n'trendy stores along Broadway downtown.)

Hope this was helpful, good luck n have fun! =)
posted by infinityjinx at 7:46 AM on May 16, 2007

Best answer: As a person of style but limited resources, I have become an expert shopper and it requires serious effort. I get compliments on my clothes/accessories daily and those people would be shocked to learn how little I actually pay -- and I never tell! This is due in part to what some of the fellas expressed above -- I act like I'm wearing the most expensive stuff on earth, and people who notice assume it must be so.

I third What Not To Wear -- they know how to steer away from unflattering cuts, cheap looks. Like, keep Stacey and Clinton's (annoying) voices in your head.

I also recommend more practical, get-this-look mags like Allure, InStyle and Elle, rather than Vogue and Bazaar. Pull tear sheets of things you like, go to the shops and try and find styles and colors that duplicate the energy and vibe of the magazine pages.

Plan shopping outings. Set aside enough time. Go alone. Take a break in the middle for lunch or a manicure. Consolidate your bags so you don't feel like you are lugging too much and must abandon the mission. Better yet, go to shops where you must check your bags. Wear comfortable shoes -- slip ons are best -- and a shoulder bag. Wear the right undies -- a sports bra is not the kind to wear if you are shopping for dresses or blouses, granny panties won't help if you are out for great-fitting slacks, etc.

Buy basics at lower prices. Don't spend a lot on black pants or skirts, tee shirts, neutral sweaters, button-down shirts -- these are all things you will wear frequently and will need to be replaced anyway. Stores like H&M, Zara, Target, Daffy's, Loehmann's are excellent for the basics!

Invest in 'signature' pieces -- a really great jacket, bag, shoes, raincoat, winter coat -- and expect to pay more. Also, break out and do them in a color that you love even though it's not 'practical'. If your entire wardrobe is low-key black, brown, grey, white, beige, navy (as mine tends to be) it's really a show-stopper to put a fuschia raincoat on top, with a hot orange scarf.

Pay more for bags, shoes, make-up -- until you have a very practiced eye for what will 'pass'.

Add odd accessories, although sparingly. I have a royal blue silk flower pin thingy that I bought on the street for four bucks, and everytime I remember to put it on a jacket for work, I get a million compliments.

Keep jewelry low-key in the daytime, save the blingy stuff for clubbing. There's nothing that says cheap faster than giant fake jewelry. Own one great pair of real gold hoops, and spend as much as you can afford on a watch that you love and wear for years (another 'signature' piece).

Check out Ellen DeGeneres -- she has excellent low-key style and although I'm not gay, I don't love overly girly fashion either. She has mastered elegant and whimsical.

I too have shopped in NYC forever, asked for lots of help, and have never heard of tipping salespeople. Strange!

And please, a plea to everybody: not all cleavage is good cleavage. Don't flaunt it just 'cause you got it.
posted by thinkpiece at 7:53 AM on May 16, 2007 [7 favorites]

I wasn't going to suggest a TV show... but if you can find an episode where one of their victims is the same shape/height as you are and jot down their hints, it might not hurt.

If you're 6' tall and thin, their advice is going to be radically different than it would be if you are 4' and buxom.
posted by chuckdarwin at 8:01 AM on May 16, 2007

For the last couple years I've bought only used clothes. This has worked out really well for me, because I've been able to slowly build up my wardrobe, figure out what I like and what looks good on me, without feeling bad about the things I don't wear. If I buy three jackets that I never end up wearing, and they cost six bucks each, I'm not going to be too broken up about it. There is always a lot of crap at used clothing stores, so you'll really benefit if you make a note of exactly where they put all the things you're interested in that may fit you. That way, if there's nothing good, you can be in and out in five minutes and get on with your day.

My strategy for selecting clothes now is pretty simple. If something fits, and it's a colour that I like, I buy it. The set of colours I use is pretty small. Greys, browns, blues, and black, for the most part. It's not adventurous by any means, but it seems to work for me. The main reason is that pretty much everything I buy can be worn with other stuff I already own and look ok.

I'm a student, and I don't have a lot of money, which is what led to the used clothes shopping in the first place. I'm also a guy, and I never made any effort to dress nicely at all until I realized that I could do it cheaply. What I wrote above is the sum total of my knowledge about buying clothes, but I figure it's general enough that maybe it could work for you too.
posted by benign at 8:02 AM on May 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Yeah, a lot of what people said was pretty spot on.

It depends a lot on what you're looking for, though, too. I mean, are you looking for stuff to wear to work, stuff to go out in, etc?

If you're looking for cheap and simple but fashionable clothes, I'd recommend hitting up an American Apparel, an H&M and most importantly, the new UNIQLO SoHo flagship store.
posted by atomly at 8:33 AM on May 16, 2007

One of the best pieces of advice I've taken away from "What Not to Wear" is to try on all sorts of styles, cuts, colors, etc. when shopping. It can feel risky - but push yourself out of your comfort zone. Try something you're convinced you could never pull off. And if you then look in the mirror and you look amazing, buy it! I've found some great stuff this way, and really expanded my knowledge of what looks good on me.

I see a lot of recommendations for The Sartorialist, but I'm finding him very stale lately. Maybe I'm just sick of black clothes and seeing that Christmas tree silhouette. Anyway, I'm more excited by this new street fashion blog: Fashionist. I'm hoping to find more like it too, for inspiration.
posted by Squeak Attack at 9:38 AM on May 16, 2007

I've never really heard of tipping either, but after having a sales person dress me repeatedly for about 45 minutes over and over again I feel some obligation. So I started it.

So I do quite a bit of my shopping at cheaper places (Penny's, outlet malls) throughout the year, but once or twice a year I go somewhere nicer and get prepared to drop a wad and let someone else update my wardrobe for me (this update serves as the framework I base my shopping around until I do this again).

I guess I tip around ten percent. So if I've spent 200-250 on clothes I'll just slip the salesperson a 20 as I leave the register and thank them for being patient with me for about an hour. It just feels right.
posted by sourwookie at 10:09 AM on May 16, 2007

As some others have said, getting clothes that actually fit you properly is key. The best advice I've ever heard about fit (wish I could remember the source - it was probably somebody around here) was that your clothes should skim your body, not cling to it.
posted by vytae at 10:10 AM on May 16, 2007

Response by poster: Oh, Thank you, thank you! You are all the best! Keep it coming. I'll be out shopping...
posted by metasav at 10:16 AM on May 16, 2007

figure out the colors and cuts that make you look awesome, and focus on a few excellent pieces that are interchangeable and use them as staples. i was pretty flamboyant in high school and some of college, then i started to develop a more personal fashion sense and that's been the single best piece of advice for me. i know, it's impossibly general, but as a guiding principle it really works for me, and the myriad "what not to wear"/lucky shopping guide etc books can often be distilled into it. it took me a long time to separate what i fancifully, in-a-vaccum/abstracted-mirror,-not-on-me considered cute and what actually looks cute on ME. this was hard to accept, but i look much much better now that i have. personal examples, if this all sounds too general or vague: i look good in pencil skirts, boat necks, the color red, and with the tiniest bit of lift to my heel. i look really bad in gold jewelry, most accessories really, those ubiquitous lacy/silky v neck cami tops (i am very small busted with broad shoulders), pastels, and busy prints that pale white chicks can totally carry off and i wishwishwish i could too (i'm a darker-skinned asian chick). figuring this stuff out and not forgetting it when new seasonal trends crop up saves me money and hassle/time thinking about this stuff, and since i really hashed this stuff out i've gotten a bazillion compliments on how i dress from all social corners of my life. it basically comes back to the whole "find your style and ignore fashion" sentiment stated above. avoid having a closet full of mistakes you keep making/temptations you keep giving into despite knowing it didn't look good the first time x trend came around.

as a money issue, which i know you didn't mention so much but...if you must try something that's obviously ridiculously trendy, go for it in cheap/disposable form. whenever i see jewelry i know i shouldn't take seriously and will be dated as intensely as it is pervasive right now, i just buy the cheapo forever 21 version of it. if it doesn't work for me, and even if it does and is unwearable by the end of the year, i'm only out 5 bucks. stuff like your winter overcoat or your cocktail dress or work shoes, on the other hand? do serious research, take the time to really get what works for you, don't settle. not in major areas. it's worth it not to settle and really concentrate on the thing that's ideal for YOU for the big items.
posted by ifjuly at 11:16 AM on May 16, 2007

I'm a lot like thinkpiece - I have a ton of clothes, but nothing very expensive except for my watch and bag. I think living in NYC is the best for clothes-conscious people, because not only can you literally wear anything you want without anyone looking askance, you can liberally borrow fashion ideas from your fellow borough-dwellers. I get my best ideas from girls on the L train, ladies lunching uptown, guys slouching down St. Marks, etc. Watching old movies, looking through art books, etc is also a great way to discover what you like. Above all, have fun and take risks.

I'd be very careful about dressing fashionably. Some of the looks this season are very cute, and some are wretched. Skinny jeans only look good on very thin people, and babydoll dresses make most women look hefty. But the thick belts are great for showing off a defined waist, there are tons of adorable summer dresses in stores and there's so much going on that you can really pick and choose what you like. Don't buy something just because it's "in"- you'll never wear it or feel weird every time you wear it. Don't buy something you feel weird in.

In terms of actual stores, if you want Marc Jacobs, DVF, Betsey Johnson etc. but don't want to pay for it, check out Tokio 7 or Joe Tokyo in the East Village. They're both consignment stores that specialize in low-end designer stuff (one step above Buffalo Exchange in Williamsburg, which I also love - I hate Beacon's Closet and would never advise that you go to that bastion of snobbery), but they have one of each thing so you have to do some digging.

Depending on your budget, I'd get a really good haircut that you like, keep your nails looking nice, buy a great pair of jeans and a good bag (invest in this if you can, get something from Filene's or C21 if you can't) and then keep everything else you buy cheap, cheap, cheap. As everyone else mentioned, F21, H&M, etc. are great for either super trendy stuff that you'll want to wear twice or basics you'll wear all the time. I'm very surprised by how awesome some of the F21 designer knockoffs are - don't count them out! I'm 30 and I shop there all the time. Also, Century 21 is fabulous but there is a lot of wheat with the chaff. It's fantastic for underwear and shoes but the clothes tend towards the lime-green-Versace-leather-skirt end of the milleaux, but you should go there and check it out anyway as a bona fide new New Yorker.
posted by alicetiara at 1:31 PM on May 16, 2007

Most of what I would say has been said (especially by alicetiara). I will only add this: becoming "stylish" has been a many-years-long process for me somewhat accelerated by moving to NYC a couple years ago. I have found it easiest to try to attack the problem one situation at a time. The first situation I attacked was clothes to wear when going out/dressing up. I hate feeling unhip when I'm out at a cool restaurant or with my well-dressed friends, and you have a lot of freedom in what you can wear in this situation. I now have a wardrobe full of cute dresses, funky skirts, and interesting shoes/accessories to choose from when I go out and I very rarely feel unstylish in that situation.
Now that I have that down, I still have "casual hanging out clothes" and "work clothes" to deal with. These are a challenge to me, especially work clothes. I hate the idea of spending a lot of money on clothes I pretty much don't care about (impressing my coworkers with my fashion sense is low on my list of priorities). So I'm working off a base of H&M, occasionally filling in with pieces that can make the jump from work to going out with few to no changes.
Anyway, the easiest way to get frustrated is going out shopping expecting to clothe yourself for a season and finding nothing, so don't expect to revamp your wardrobe all at once. Figure out when you most want to look great and start shopping for that.
posted by ch1x0r at 6:09 PM on May 16, 2007

Response by poster: Alicetiara, a personal thank you. So many people to thank above for being so helpful and thorough, but for some reason i think to myself, how can I get this woman to go shopping with me?? You all rock. I hit H&M (mostly found it to be a great place to try on crazy things and rethink my BORING-ness! and bought a few things my friend who ROCKS picked out for me ) urban outfitters (painfully "fashiony" but I did find two cute things!), daffy's (seems like one of the circles of hell, but also found two great items after a long search), target (actually found two really great dresses, me in a dress!!! And a very cute pair of shorts that are tailored, a bit dressy, and a bit girly and look spendy! I think I'm learning!) , and banana as an old stand-by, where I found nothing. I have about five new cute outfits to wear, things I NEVER would have imagined me wearing. I went to the fashion blogs, I have a hair appointment at the Beehive tomorrow and I just can't possibly tell you all how happy I am to finally feel like I'm "home." I lurf, loaf, lurve New York. I'll make you proud, and keep a bit of DC in me and call you ya'll. Which is the greatest thing I learned from that town. Oh, and I find bow-ties extremely sexy.

I digress. Thank you for all the help. Today went so well, keeping your ideas in mind. Style vs. fashion would make a funny boxing match. See, I'm giddy! Thanky thanky thanks ya'll!

Oh, and one more thing. Maybe this is southern/feminist/weird of me, but I keep telling women who look great, that they look great.

Ya'll look great!!!
posted by metasav at 11:29 PM on May 16, 2007

Best answer: Adorable.
posted by thinkpiece at 6:49 AM on May 17, 2007

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